Megan Johnson received a heart transplant at the age of twenty-three. The next year, she married a Christian musician named Nathan Johnson and moved to Nashville.
Last week, she gave birth to a girl named Eilee Kate. She and her husband were ecstatic, posting pictures of their baby online. Later that morning, Megan died. The cause of her death has not yet been determined.
Josh Wilson, leader of the Christian band in which Nathan plays, told reporters: “We have grieved in hope, but we believe Meg is with Jesus and one day we will be too, so that is how we grieve with hope.” He started a GoFundMe account to help Nathan with expenses and give him some time at home.
As of this morning, the fund has raised $401,500.
On the eve of our nation’s Independence Day, there are many reasons why I am thankful for the United States of America. Our historic commitment to religious liberty, our passion for individual freedom, and our natural beauty and resources are gifts to Americans and the world.
But I am especially grateful for the benevolence of our people.
On the World Giving Index, the US ranks only behind Myanmar in generosity. Americans gave $373 billion to charity in 2015, the highest amount in world history. Such generosity is the consistent teaching of Scripture:
• “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17).
• “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
• “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor” (Proverbs 22:9).
• “It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice” (Psalm 112:5).
• “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise” (Luke 3:11).
• “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
Generosity is the best way to express our continued belief “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
There are many ways to celebrate our nation: parades and flag-waving, parties and fireworks will be on display in communities large and small. But your next act of kindness will endure long after the parades are over and the flags are stored.
Theodore Roosevelt noted, “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” After we sing “God Bless America,” let’s bless Americans to the glory of God.